Chapter 535: If you really want to (2)

The center of the Endable Kingdom.
The white castle.

As the name indicates, every part of the palace was white.
However, the reason this place was called the white castle was not simply because of its color.

The large sinkhole.
The inside of that pit was no longer just a sinkhole.

There were different floors with many different facilities.
However, all of the floors were created with a hole in the middle so that sunlight could reach all the way to the bottom.

‘The sun falls right onto the white castle.’

Section 1 at the bottom of the sinkhole was the only floor with a central location, which was where the white castle was located.

‘It is called the white castle because sunlight gathers here.’

Cale barely held himself back from chuckling.

The white castle.
The citizens of the Endable Kingdom found this place to be quite holy.

Cale found that to be funny.

‘…The truth is that greed runs wild in this place.’

The grand assembly hall.
The White Star.
The people representing the first four noble households.
And the 96 noble awaiters.

There were 101 people present in this hall.

“Then we will move onto the next topic.”

The Dark Elf old man. Count Mock was leading the meeting.
Cale had been getting a feel for the group during the past thirty minutes.

Count Mock started to speak at that moment.

“This is regarding changing the administrator for Section 7 and Section 9.”

Cale could feel the atmosphere in the grand assembly hall change almost immediately.

The look in the eyes of all 96 noble awaiters changed after hearing that they were changing the administrator for a section.

‘Heh.’

Cale lowered his head and started to frown to stop himself from laughing.

‘96 noble awaiters. What an odd system.’

The grand assembly hall.
There was a high platform with a circular table and five chairs there.

Of course, one of those chairs was on a slightly higher platform and gave off a luxurious feel.
Naturally, that was the chair for the White Star.

The remaining four chairs were for the representatives of the first four nobles, and these five people sat at the center of the assembly hall.

‘And the 96 of them get the floor.’

The 96 noble awaiters.
They were sitting on cushions on the grand assembly hall’s floor looking up at the platform with the circular table.

Cale peeked toward the hall door.
He started to recall the things Solena told him on their way over one by one.

‘The 96 noble awaiters consist of many different races and homelands. There are races without the darkness attribute, such as humans and Elves as well. However, they all have something in common.’

Solena had quietly whispered to Cale.

‘They wish to become nobles. They desire for higher positions. That is why they quietly sit on the cold stone floor on a cushion even though they are all quite strong.’

Solena looked around even though they were inside a carriage before telling Cale even quieter.

‘Young master-nim. They all have different reasons they desire to become nobles. Of them-’
‘It's fine.’
‘Excuse me?’
‘I don't need to know their reasons. I’m not interested in it.’

Cale recalled what he had said to Solena.

‘I just need to know that they wish to become nobles. That’s the important part.’

The corners of Cale’s lips were about to go up again.

“Naru.”

Cale felt someone put a hand on his shoulder at that moment.
It was cold.
There were no traces of warmth.

Cale could not help but subconsciously curl up.
It could not be helped.

The person sitting to Cale's right…
That person reached his left arm out and warmly asked.

“Is it hard?”

Cale could see the smile on this person's face as he warmly spoke to him in the middle of the meeting.

‘Ha…I really want to smack him from behind.’

Cale wanted to smack him the moment he saw the White Star’s warm smile.
However, he held back and shook his head.

“…Uncle, I am okay.”

Being respectful to the White Star and sitting still was his job right now.
Cale held back what he wanted to say to the White Star and lowered his head.

“Oh my.”

He heard the White Star’s disappointed voice, but Cale ignored it.
The White Star looked at Cale with an even stronger pitying gaze.

‘Did they say that they don't know how long Duke Fredo will be in a coma for?’

The White Star could not hide his disappointment after hearing the news from Duke Fredo's residence this morning.

‘Tsk. I can't believe I can’t use an important pawn at a time like this.’

The White Star could not help but be disappointed that one of the cards that could help his plan was not usable.
But the White Star was quietly looking at the 12 years old boy who had his head down for a different reason.

‘…I guess he is quite torn up.’

The boy who was frowning as if he was holding something in was sitting with his head held down.

The way he looked made it impossible not to pity him.
But it also made some other people sneer.

‘It looks like the next Ejellan generation will not be able to keep the Duke title.’

Count Mock, the Dark Elf old man, was holding back a sneer as he looked at the White Star and Naru.

‘But at least he managed to participate in the assembly as the Duke’s envoy even with his weak personality.’

He held back his sneer and continued the meeting.

However, other than the White Star who was on a slightly higher platform and Count Mock who was standing to lead the meeting…
The other two nobles were looking at Naru with odd gazes.

The woman who was attending the grand assembly in full armor.
Count Hubesha.
She was confused while looking at Naru who had his head down but his fists clenched.

‘He’s different than usual.’

She was sitting on Naru’s left and could see the White Star looking pitifully at Naru, but she could not take her gaze away from Naru's clenched fists that were shaking.

‘He's clenching his fists like that because he is concerned about his father?’

That was not it.
This was actually-

‘Isn’t that what people do when they are angry?’

Count Hubesha suddenly recalled what Naru had shouted to the White Star when they visited the Ejellan Duchy.

‘…Cale Henituse. I will never forgive him. I will make him pay for this!’

She remembered how the boy had shouted in anger.

‘No way.’

She didn't think that that was the case, but this odd feeling continued to overwhelm her.

‘Naru Von Ejellan. This child is a nice boy.’

He was too nice to be the child of one of the Endable Kingdom's leaders.

He was gentle and kind.
He was upright.
He was pure.

‘But upright people can show a strength that cannot be hindered in certain times.’

Hubesha suddenly looked certain about something.
She started to pay more attention to Naru who had his head down and his eyes closed as if he was thinking about something.

“Mm.”

Another person who noticed Naru’s odd behavior had his arms crossed and his head tilted to one side.

‘This is weird.’

That person was Gersey, the Endable Kingdom’s only Marquis and Chief Priest.
But he was thinking about something different than Count Hubesha.

‘Is Solena not controlling him?’

Gersey had felt Naru’s anger as Hubesha had felt.

‘I'm sure Duke Fredo would have talked to Solena in advance.’

The mysterious Duke Fredo that Marquis Gersey knew would have talked to his trusted subordinate Solena before he fell into his coma.

He would have told her not to let Naru get angry.
He would also have told her to not let the Ejellan household and the Vampires cause an uproar.
That’s what Duke Fredo would have told her to do.

‘…But Naru is unable to hide his anger?’

This could mean one of two things.
Either Duke Fredo fell into a coma after fighting so desperately that he didn't have time to say such things to Solena.

‘Or, Solena is unable to control Naru. Hmm.’

The corners of Gersey’s lips started to go up.
He couldn't tell which of the two it was.

‘Well, it doesn’t matter which it is.’

Regardless of which of the two it was, while Fredo, the sturdy foundation for the Vampires was in a coma… What could Naru do even if he was angry?

‘He naturally has a gentle disposition. That is why whatever he does won't be much.’

Gersey then stopped caring about Naru.
It would be one thing if he had gone to visit Duke Fredo as Count Hubesha had done and seen Naru’s anger toward Cale Henituse, but he didn’t have time to go visit Fredo.

“Here is the next topic.”

‘We're here.’

Gersey's eyes clouded over.
His gaze moved to the highest spot inside this assembly hall.

He could see the White Star looking back at him with a gaze full of an eccentric desire. Count Mock continued to speak at that moment.

"This is a motion Marquis Gersey-nim brought up related to the festival.”

Marquis Gersey, the Chief Priest.

The fact that this motion was from the Marquis changed the atmosphere in the hall once again.
Gersey was one of the Endable Kingdom's three pillars and strongest people.

The 96 noble awaiters and the other nobles all turned toward him.
Even the White Star turned toward him.

Of course, one person was an exception.
Cale kept his head down but still focused to hear what was about to be said.

“Ahem.”

Count Mock peeked toward Gersey with a slightly uncomfortable and confused gaze and started to speak.

“Marquis Gersey-nim’s motion is to request your permission to allow all priests in Section 2 to participate in a large ritual on the last day of the festival.”

The heavy atmosphere in the assembly hall lessened.
The noble awaiters looked disappointed.

‘Damn it. I thought it was something big since the Marquis brought up the motion.’
‘It’s just a ritual during the festival. It’s not much.’

Count Mock continued to speak as if it wasn’t much.

“The content of the ritual is to give thanks for successfully completing the year and to pray for peace and happiness in the future for the Endable Kingdom.”

Everybody stopped caring as much, thinking that it was just a part of the festival.
However, Cale’s eyes sparkled as he had his head down.

‘…This is weird.’

The White Star was supposedly rushing to become a member of the Demonic race.
And Chief Priest Gersey was working with him to make that happen.
But Chief Priest Gersey was doing a ritual for the festival while they were busy with that?

‘There’s something here.’

Cale realized it.
The White Star and Gersey…

‘These two bastards must be up to something.’

He had a feeling that something dark and sneaky was hidden within that festival ritual.

Count Mock turned toward Marquis Gersey.

“Marquis, is there anything you would like to add on?”

“Ahem.”

Marquis Gersey let out a small fake cough before smiling gently.

“It is just a small issue, so nothing else needs to be said. The materials and costs for the ritual will all be handled by the priests, so you don’t need to worry about that either. However, as it is a ritual, we hope that all citizens can observe it with reverence.”

Flap flap.

He flapped his fan and slightly shrugged his shoulders.
It was a very casual action, but the people who knew the weight of his position did not even frown because of his action.

“Then we will now make a decision about this motion.”

Count Mock decided this was nothing much and quickly tried to pass the motion.
There wasn’t anything to object about it.

Marquis Gersey watched Count Mock as he covered his mouth with his fan.

‘It's done.’

The corners of his lips that were hidden underneath the fan went up without anybody knowing.

“Then I will take it as this motion has passed-”

Count Mock's voice echoed in the hall. His hand was turning the page to the next motion.

It was at that moment.

“I object.”

Screeeech-

A chair was pushed back.

‘Hmm?’

Count Mock wondered if he had heard incorrectly and turned his gaze away from the document and toward the speaker.

Flinch.

His shoulders subconsciously flinched a bit.

“…Young master Naru. Just now-”
“I object.”

Dark Elf old man Mock looked toward Naru who cut him off in shock.

‘…What the…? Wasn’t this bastard completely feeling down?’

Mock could see the boy's eyes burning up.
He could see his clenched fists shaking as well.

“…Oh my.”

The black knight. Count Hubesha subconsciously gasped.
She realized that what she had worried about was starting to happen.

“Naru. What are you doing?”

The White Star gently but sharply looked toward Naru.
The White Star’s eyes opened wide at Naru’s action at that moment.

Baaaaang!

The boy slammed down on the table with both hands.

“Your majesty.”

The boy looked toward the White Star with eyes that seemed to be burning wildly.
This was the thought on the boy's mind.

‘As if I am smacking the White Star around! With that kind of emotion!’

The boy shouted full of emotion.
Of course, his thoughts and the words that came out were completely different.

“We do not think this is the time to be thinking about the festival.”
“…What?”
“My Father. Duke Fredo-nim is a Duke of our Endable Kingdom.”

The boy shouted while his eyes were fired up with the thought of smacking the White Star around.

“Such a respected person! He was injured by that evil Cale Henituse bastard!”

The boy looked as if he was so angry that he was ready to beat Cale Henituse to a pulp at any moment.
The atmosphere in the grand assembly hall instantly changed.

‘Hmm?’
‘Huh?’

The eyes of the 96 noble awaiters started to cloud over one or two at a time.

‘…This might be a chance.’

An odd sense of desire filled the eyes of the people looking up at the platform.
Their gazes were very different than when Marquis Gersey was trying to pass the motion.

The reason that they were willing to sit down on this cold floor with a single cushion.
Duke Fredo had told Cale about it.

‘My son. The noble awaiters trust that the White Star and the Endable Kingdom will become the strongest kingdom on the Eastern and Western continents combined.’
‘Hmm. What do they need in order to get out of the awaiter position?’

Smile.

Fredo had smiled as he said the following.

‘First, the Endable Kingdom must officially reveal itself to the world and dominate another kingdom. That is the only way for the kingdom to increase its territory and require new nobles and administrators to maintain it.’
‘And?’
‘Second, they need merits from each individual awaiter. They must stand out on the battlefield. That's the way to get the White Star to choose them as the next noble.’

Cale's eyes flashed as he recalled Fredo's words.

‘My son. The noble awaiters have waited a minimum of five years and a maximum of twenty years for their moment to become a noble.’

Cale had laughed at that as he responded.

‘I'm sure that they're tired of waiting.’
‘Probably?’
‘I guess they’re waiting for someone to start an all-out war?’
‘…My son. Do as you please.’

Cale, looking like Naru, looked the White Star in the eyes and asked.

“Are we just going to sit around like this? I firmly believe we cannot just sit around like this!”

The boy who had seen his father fainted in a coma shouted with sorrow and anger.

“It is for our Endable Kingdom and our future when we dominate the Eastern and Western continents! This is an issue of the Endable Kingdom’s pride!”

They could also feel the innocent boy's love for the Endable Kingdom.

“We cannot hide around and wait any longer!”

They could not wait.

The atmosphere around the 96 awaiters started to heat up.

“I, Naru Von Ejellan, the representative of the Ejellan Duchy!”

The assembly hall was quietly but quickly heating up.

The moment Chief Priest Gersey’s smile disappeared from underneath the fan…
The boy's voice filled the assembly hall.

“I would like to make a motion!”

The 96 noble awaiters.
Their intuitions were telling them that this moment was important.

‘The chance to become a noble.’

Something to end the long boring time they had been quietly waiting through.
Something to fulfill their desires.
They thought that the starting point to all of that might happen here.

Naru Von Ejellan.

He calmly started to speak as everybody looked at him.

“Please give the order to kill Cale Henituse right away.”

‘…Shit.’

Chief Priest Gersey subconsciously started to frown.
He had thought that it wouldn't be much even if Naru got angry because he was a gentle boy.

‘I was mistaken!’

Gersey only just realized that Naru could cause something even bigger because he was an innocent boy.
He turned his head.

The White Star and Naru…

Gersey could see them looking at each other.
The boy held back his anger and calmly continued to speak.

“The proud warriors of the Endable Kingdom and I will kill Cale Henituse.”

The Endable Kingdom’s warriors.
Those words made some of the noble awaiters clench their fists.

‘It's here!’

They had thought it would not happen for a long time, but someone was creating the chance for them.
The boy’s next words made the noble awaiters fully confident.

“We will also let the continents know! They will know the greatness of the Endable Kingdom! They will know about the great and mighty warriors of the Endable Kingdom! We will let the entire world know about us!”

This bastard was trying to start an all-out war.

‘A chance might come if I help this bastard get this pushed through.’

The fierce gazes of the noble awaiters under the platform were focused on Cale’s back.
Cale knew this but pretended not to know as he continued to speak as if he was a boy just dreaming of getting revenge.

“And please give me the chance to lead those warriors myself.”

The boy asked the king who had not been fully crowned yet.

“Please.”

He bowed toward the White Star.
However, his spirit looked as unwavering as a large mountain.

The boy. The 96 warriors.
A total of 97 fierce gazes looked toward the White Star.

Of course, the reasons behind those fierce gazes were all different.

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